Covid-19 Asymptomatic Testing Site to launch at University of Winchester

27 Nov 2020

The University is working with NHS Test and Trace to set up an on-campus ATS so that students without symptoms can still get tested. This is part of the national effort to help control the spread of the virus as students return home for the Christmas period. This is in addition to the measures the University has already put in place to help stop the spread of the virus.

From Friday 4 December testing will be available for students on a voluntary basis. Testing will take place between 9am and 6pm by appointment only. Information for booking is being provided to students via the University's intranet. 

Lateral flow devices do not require a laboratory to process the test. Processing of these tests can be conducted at a dedicated testing site by trained personnel and can rapidly turn around results within an hour.

Use of lateral flow tests could significantly improve the detection of positive cases, so people can isolate themselves and prevent the spread of the disease. Asymptomatic testing will help to protect those at high risk, find the virus and help enable us to go back to as normal a way of life as possible.

Anyone testing positive for the virus in England will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace to help them track their contacts. This will help people to identify who they may have been in close contact with, protecting others from further transmission. Close contacts of those testing positive will also hear from NHS Test and Trace, asking them to stay at home for 14 days to prevent them from unknowingly spreading the virus.

Anyone with symptoms should follow the guidance online on how to book a PCR test - - or call 119. Lines are open 7am to 11pm.

The Government is working closely with universities to get asymptomatic students tested during the first week of December, in order to help them return home safely for Christmas.

Testing will help to break the chain of transmission amongst students, especially when they are infected but are not aware of it, and help to ensure the safety of their loved ones at home.

Students will be encouraged to get tested twice during the first week of December using lateral flow devices. If they receive two negative tests, they are advised to return home immediately. Should a student test positive they will receive a confirmatory PCR test and will have to self-isolate for 10 days, still with enough time to return home for Christmas.

Before travelling home, students are advised to: book travel in advance, avoid busy times and routes and check their journey in advance to avoid disruptions. If driving, only travel with members of your household or support bubble and follow safer travel advice safety guidelines. On public transport it is important that travellers wear a face covering unless exempt, wash or sanitise hands regularly, use contactless payment and keep 2m distance where possible.

Health Minister Lord Bethell said: "We've already come so far since first setting up a national testing programme at an unprecedented pace to help counter COVID-19, but we continue to strive to go further, faster.

"Innovations such as lateral flow technology holds the key to the next phase of our ambition to see mass, rapid testing available to people across?the country.

"I'm delighted that universities are working with us to use lateral flow technology, and I look forward to seeing the fruits of their labour, in helping students return home for Christmas and to return to a normal way of life as soon as possible."

Universities Minister Michelle Donelan said: "We are committed to get students back to their loved ones for the Christmas holidays as safely as possible, after this challenging year.

"Our plans already minimise the risk of students moving at the end of term, through staggered departure dates in the 'student travel window'. But testing will offer further assurances that students can keep their families safe this winter, and I urge all students who can to take the tests on offer."

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